We had lived in Toronto for over five years as vegetarians and had no trouble finding ingredients to cook at home or vegetarian options when eating out. But, during our 2.5 year stint in Thailand, we had become vegan and wondered how we would fare in this city as vegans. So, we were delighted to come back to Canada’s largest city to find that our recently-adopted veganism was easy to navigate in restaurants, grocery stores and markets.
Toronto is an international city with residents from all over the world, which naturally lends itself to a plethora of restaurant options. Being a very “foody” city, we are happy to report that Toronto’s vegan options are plentiful and have become more commonplace than when we lived there.
Eager for some North American comfort food after our Asian experiences, we headed to Hogtown Vegan on Bloor Street, where we enjoyed some hearty dishes like chicken and waffles and mac and cheese. We felt comforted indeed, having left with very full bellies.
Hot Beans, located in bustling Kennsington Market, serves Mexican-inspired burritos and tacos. Again, we relished in the fact that such tasty Western options were available to us as vegans.
Fresh Vegetarian Restaurant
Fresh Vegetarian Restaurant had always been a favorite of ours while living in Toronto as vegetarians. As it turned out, although this is a vegetarian restaurant, veganism is understood by the entire wait staff and the majority of the menu options were already vegan. Those that weren’t could easily be made vegan with a simple omission or substitution.
We were amazed and delighted to find that even the large chain grocery stores like Loblaws now offer a wide array of vegan products such as almond milk, Daiya cheese, yogurt made from coconut, soy or almonds, vegan pizza, vegan ice-cream sandwiches and the list goes on and on. From aisles of fake meat products and take-home dinners to a decent selection of animal milk substitutions Torontonians need not go farther than their local grocer to find a variety of vegan food.
Toronto is also home to several farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms as well as a variety of ready-made products made by locals. These include jams, soups and sauces. Markets can be either year-round or seasonal and although all the products sold at such markets are not solely vegan, they include a wealth of vegan options. Click here for more information about farmers’ markets both downtown and outside the city by the Toronto Vegetarian Society.
6 thoughts on “Being Vegan in Toronto”
Glad that you found the right food places in Toronto – I like it when the ingredients are listed, since I try to avoid sugar and wheat flour and can have a hard time in some restaurants. Good luck Mindy and Ligeia.
Bounding Over Our Steps
We completely agree that it is so helpful when all the ingredients on anything are clearly listed. We hate having to ask again and again about each product or dish we are interested in.
I was iffy on vegan food until actually trying it. It can be pretty good and I like the chicken substitutes more than the real thing sometimes! I love the Hogtown one – hilarious oxymoron.
Bounding Over Our Steps
So many people we have met have said the same, that they tried vegan food be certain it would be horrible and then were surprised when it turned out to be pretty good. That’s interesting that you find the chicken substitutes better than the real thing. The name Hogtown Vegan as a vegan restaurant confused me at first too, but a nickname of Toronto is “hogtown” so makes that name make a little more sense. Plus, we love the picture of the pig on the front. 🙂
I am so excited to go to Vegas and find vegan stuff! Love how there are so many options for you!
Yogurt made from coconut sounds like the most amazing thing ever!! Will have to start looking for that in grocery stores, though something tells me Colombia isn’t as advanced as Toronto when it comes to vegan options… 🙂